Readers respond to Register articles.
Not Peachy in Georgia
An open letter to Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta:
I opened The Georgia Bulletin this week and was aghast to see articles on Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Father James Martin. With what is going on in the Church today, I did not expect to see that.
The article states that you have invited Father Martin to speak at the request of a pastor. But yet, when we ask for altar rails or kneelers to reverently receive Holy Communion, you deny the request.
To me, this means you have no interest in orthodoxy or the traditions of the one, true faith, but plenty of room for progressive notions — especially of normalizing homosexuality within the Catholic Church, as Father Martin is promoting.
To love the sinner is one thing. To approve the sin is quite another.
It is also very disturbing to find out that the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is known as the “gay parish” of the archdiocese. Your attitude about homosexuality is not new. In 2013 you welcomed the dissident group Fortunate Families — which rejects Catholic teaching on chastity for gays. You allow the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to participate in gay-pride parades. You have socials with Dignity and New Ways Ministry, both of which are condemned by the Vatican.
What are you planning to do to help stop the gay “power ring” in the Church and possibly in our diocese? The Sixth Commandment still stands. Is chastity not that important anymore?
Remember what Our Lady of Fatima told the children — most of those in hell are there because of sins against chastity.
Please stop the acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle. Also, the massive abuse by clergy has to stop. As you know, homosexual priests and abuse are tied together.
Pope Rightly Concerned
In his new book (not yet released in English), Pope Francis has expressed his grave concerns about the presence of homosexuals in the priesthood, an issue of profound impact on the Church (NCRegister.com, Dec. 1, and on page 9 this issue).
To me, this phenomenon of homosexuals in the priesthood seemed a curious conundrum. Given the Church’s 2,000-year-old teaching about homosexuality as perversion and abomination, why would any same-sex-attracted man seek to become a priest? Yet it exists, much to the profound sorrow of Catholics everywhere, challenging the moral authority of priests and bishops. Pope Francis seeks to address the matter.
It comes as no surprise to me that the Orthodox Churches, which ordain married men to the priesthood, do not appear to be afflicted by this moral decay. The return of the Roman Catholic Church to the ancient apostolic tradition of ordaining married men, which existed in the Roman Church before Pope Benedict VII imposed mandatory celibacy on the priesthood in 1074 A.D., ought to be considered by Pope Francis as a reasonable remedy consistent with holy tradition, along with amendments to the canon law that would mandate that the bishops defrock homosexuals in the priesthood and refer all matters of sexual predation of children to law enforcement.
In reading the interview with the victim of Bishop McCarrick (“McCarrick Accuser Speaks Out on EWTN, InPerson, Dec. 9 issue), out of the blue I read “it stopped when I decided to get sober, when I stopped drinking.” This should be a wonderful revelation for many: Stay sober, for the devil roams like a lion. But nowhere before this statement was there any indication that drinking was an issue. Did I miss something? Was he not sober as an 11-year-old? Please give this story the complete understanding that it and we deserve. For me, this changes much. An 11-year-old who is drinking, nay all of us, are easier targets when not clean and sober.
The editor responds: James Grein coped with the abuse as an adult by drinking heavily. He did not drink as a child.
The Holy Father has invited you to investigate the claims made by Archbishop Viganò.
In his third letter his claims and refutations are becoming more clear and more credible. I pray resolution of these claims remains top priority in the Church and at EWTN. What will the Catholic Church historians write? What else can I do but to write and pray, as the Holy Father has asked, and hope that he will say a word or two, as guided by the Holy Spirit?
Dear Lord Jesus, cleanse and heal your Church.
Deacon Serj Sarkis Harutunian
La Crescenta, California
Holidays’ True Meaning
Relevant to your Advent coverage:
During the holy seasons of Christmas and Hanukkah, it is quite sad to observe so many who have no idea what these holy days mean and the peace and joy one can receive if they are observed in a truly spiritual way. These holy days reflect all that is good and reject feelings of hatred, gluttony and lust, vices that are so prevalent in our secular society.
To find peace and joy during this time of the year, one must forget past grievances and reconcile with family, friends and neighbors. It’s also important not to get involved in the false temporary “glitter” presented by tantalizing and embellished advertising sending us on a buying spree and into debt.
Visits to the sick and help to the truly needy — there are always those who are less fortunate than we are — should be done not only at this time of the year, but also throughout the entire year.
Let’s learn the true meaning of these holy days and spread the good news of the peace and joy they bring.
Joseph A. Ledoux
I have read Edward Pentin’s Nov. 23 article (NCRegister.com) regarding the Pope’s naming Cardinal Blase Cupich to the “organizing committee” for the upcoming February abuse meeting, and my first thoughts turned to the adage “Actions/inactions speak louder than words.”
That said, the spoken word is important, too, “for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34b).
Firstly, we must never forget that Pope Francis has yet to respond to the dubia and the ambiguous and worrisome results of the last three synods, and there is his nonresponse to Archbishop Carlo Viganò’s multiple testimonies and the “do not vote” edict to the recent USCCB meeting. The last shocked many faithful Catholics — as well as many bishops and priests, with the apparent exception of Cardinal Cupich.
All these actions, and inactions, have caused many Catholics to wonder and ask: In what direction is the Church going?
Is the Pope truly serious about unearthing the real cause of clerical abuse — as well as the decadeslong McCarrick cover-up by his peers? His appointment of Cardinal Cupich to this “organizing committee” tells me, unfortunately, he is not.
We must now move from the Pope’s actions/inactions to Cardinal Cupich’s own words, spoken during the last several months.
When asked about the issue of the Church’s response to clerical sex abuse, he said: “The Pope has a bigger agenda,” “He has got to get on to other things,” and “We have a bigger agenda than to be distracted by all of this.”
He also claimed that Archbishop Viganò’s testimony was a “rabbit hole” and, incredibly, he told a group of seminarians — after they voiced their concerns about the scandal — that “I feel very much at peace at this moment. I am sleeping okay.”
Why weren’t Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, Cardinal Robert Sarah, et. al. assigned to this committee?
Mark M. Trolio
Garden City, New York
The editor responds: The Holy Father recently came out with a response that touches on your letter (see story on page 9). In a new book, which has yet to be translated in English, he said of homosexuality, “In consecrated and priestly life, there’s no room for that kind of affection. Therefore, the Church recommends that people with that kind of ingrained tendency should not be accepted into the ministry or consecrated life. The ministry or the consecrated life is not his place. ... It’s better for them to leave the ministry or the consecrated life rather than to live a double life.”
Regarding “Assessing the 2018 Midterms” (page one, Nov. 25-Dec. 8 issue):
This story is troubling to me. According to the Pew Research Center, Catholics were nearly evenly split, with 50% voting for Democrats while 49% voted for Republicans. I would like to remind these “Catholics” that the Democratic Party does not believe in the sanctity of life or that the right to life outweighs all other rights.
It seems Catholics are putting a higher priority on political issues and a lower priority on life issues. Is it better to defend “the social safety net” or defend life itself? Are Catholics not aware of their responsibility to vote consistent with Catholic moral teaching?
In previous Register articles, Msgr. Charles Pope has written that Catholics have a choice between negotiable issues and nonnegotiable issues. Abortion is a nonnegotiable issue. It is not just another “political talking point.”
Jesus said, “He who is not with me is against me” (Matthew 12:30). In the same way, there is no middle ground with abortion. There is no moderation: Pro-choice is pro-abortion. Catholics should not let politics sway them to vote contrary to the Church’s moral teaching.
The Catholic Church stands firmly against abortion no matter where the cultural or political winds blow. Her position on this issue has never changed. Our Catholic principles must also stand firm.
When Catholic principles conflict with political issues, we cannot remain silent or, worse yet, promote those who hold views contrary to Catholic moral teaching. Regarding abortion, the Book of Proverbs says: “Rescue those who are being led off to death; hold back those who are being carried to slaughter” (Proverbs 24:11).
We must do what we can to oppose and speak out against all immoral evils, especially abortion. Remember, we are Catholic first and political party second.
- letters to the editor